The Woman in the Lake
By Alexandra Wright
|Photo from http://www.travelpod.co.uk/travel-photo/drewcb/1/1252001405/lake-george-at-night.jpg/tpod.html|
Camden Davers stood on the wall next to the outdoor cafeteria at Old Towne High School looking out over the student population. There was an air of anticipation, and all of the conversations trickled to a stop. He surveyed the masses with a cocky grin on his face. This is the moment he had been waiting for since school started. This was the only reason he ran for senior class president. If he had been chosen, he knew he would have lasted, but he hadn’t he was almost jealous of The Thirteen, almost. When all of the conversations had ceased and all eyes were on him, he let the grin slide off his face in mock seriousness, and began addressing the gathered crowd, speaking the words that had been spoken every 29th of September since the school had opened.
“A long time ago, before the old oak tree was planted in the center of town, there was a woman who drowned herself in the lake off of Old Mill Road. She was the daughter of the Great Storyteller. She had a doomed love affair with the town’s founder’s grandson. He was of the richest family and she, one of the poorest. Neither family wanted them to be together. They were going to run away together but tragedy struck. On a hunting trip, he was accidentally killed, leaving her to wait for him in the old mill by the lake to run away with her. She was pregnant at the time, and when his friend told her what happened she went into labor, but the baby was born dead. That on top of what happened to her lover, put her over the edge. She walked into the river with the body of her baby, never to walk back out again. The lake, and the mill where the lovers were supposed to meet have been haunted ever since.
Every year, thirteen of the incoming freshmen are chosen to spend the night there on September 30th, the anniversary of her death. In the history of our school, only five freshmen have ever stayed for the whole night. They have become the wealthiest, most successful people in town. Well, four of them, anyway. The fifth went crazy and drowned herself in the lake as well. It is once again that time of year, and as Senior Class President, it is my job to pick out the names of The Thirteen, who will have to brave Old Mill Lake. You all know how this works, put your names in this hat and I will pick. Then, tomorrow night, we all go down to the lake for the bonfire; when the fire goes out, only the 13 will remain.”
Once he was done speaking, the rumble of nervous chatter started up again, the freshmen all abuzz with anticipation and the slightest sense of fear. They all started scribbling their names on the scraps of paper Camden had passed around before he hopped up onto the wall. They all wanted to be chosen and at the same time hoped that they weren’t. After all of the names had been added to the hat, Camden began reading out the names of the chosen.
“ Ashley Clarke, Samantha Olsen, Craig Wilson, Violet Westenhal, Aiden Marks, Van Ryan, Claire Matthews, Eric Johnson, Paul Fletcher, Molly Ansley, Erich Smith, Shane Holden, and Donavan Samuelson. All right ladies and gentlemen you have been chosen. Time to find some balls” he snickered.
The next night after the football game, the students all gathered at the Old Mill Lake. The fires were lit, the kegs tapped and music was blaring out of the speakers of several of the cars parked out by the lake. The party raged late into the night and when the fires went out, the only students left were The Thirteen.
To read part 2 Click here
To read part 2 Click here